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Monday, January 11, 2021

How to Make Video Content Work for Your Business

January 11, 2021
How to Make Video Content Work for Your Business

 


Lights, camera… action! It’s your business’s time to shine. 2021 is the perfect opportunity to start generating video content for your marketing efforts, or to spruce up the ideas you already have. It’s never a bad idea to try new content strategies and platforms. Besides, hundreds of thousands of businesses have seen success with their video content. If you’re not sure where to start, check out these six ideas to make video content work for your business this year. 

 

1. Follow a Storyline

No matter the type of video content you decide to shoot, there should always be a purpose. Ask yourself—what story are you trying to tell? Even a 10-second video should have some sort of plot line. Start by mapping out your objective, and then writing a script. If you’re looking for a more organic approach, outline your objectives and outline a sequence for your video, then let your talent adlib the script. 

 

2. Keep it Short

Attention spans continue to decrease as more and more content makes its way in front of potential customers. The longer your video, the more dropoff you’ll have on the attention span of your audience. For an effective marketing video, consider a video that is 30 seconds to a minute long. While there are certain scenarios where more or less will be effective, stick to around a minute as a good rule of thumb.

 

3. Get Emotional

People connect with real people. Use a video to make an emotional appeal to your audience. Showcase the positive impact you’ve made in your community. Talk to your customers on their level. Make yourself relatable to the end-user. Telling real stories that relate to your audience on an emotional level will help establish trust and credibility with your audience.

 

4. Tell Your Story

Every business has a “why” behind what they do. Use video content as a means to show the heart and soul of your business. Your customers may not know why you got into the business world. When customers create personal connections, they’re more likely to keep coming back in the future. 

 

5. Inject Humor

They say laughter is the best medicine, and we could all use some extra smiles these days. Consider showing the funny side of your team members or coming up with a funny video advertisement. If the video is funny enough and resonates with your audience, you’ll garner more shares and potential customers will more easily remember your brand. 

 

6. Provide Next Steps

No matter the type of content you decide to shoot, each video should serve a purpose. You’ll want to provide next steps at the end of your video whether that be a call to action on screen or a pop up that directs to your website. Consider what action you would like your audience to take, and then keep it short, sweet and concise. 

 

Now that you know about different ways to use video, let it work for your business! Consider your audience and what types of content you think they’ll resonate with most. Keep it simple, keep it relatable and keep it consistent for best results. Even smartphones have the capability to shoot quality video these days, so get out there and get to directing. You’re the star of your own company.

 

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Monday, January 4, 2021

How to Decide When It’s Time for a Brand Refresh

January 04, 2021
How to Decide When It’s Time for a Brand Refresh


 

At the close of each calendar year comes an important time of reflection. Many use the start of a new year to make resolutions for the future. New year, new you? The same concept can apply to your business’s branding, which includes your logo, colors, fonts and messaging. A refresh can be as simple as a logo alteration or as big as a total brand makeover. How will you know if the timing is right? Check out these five signs it’s time to consider a brand refresh in the new year.

 

1. You’ve Never Changed It

If you think your brand is so recognizable that you can’t possibly refresh it, consider this: Even big name brands like McDonalds and Facebook have undergone brand refreshes. No business is so recognizable that it can’t undergo an update. If it’s been a few years, consider revisiting your branding to see if there can be any improvements made. While you shouldn’t simply change it just to change it, there may be small ways to improve. 

 

2. Your Website Doesn’t Match Your Logo

If you’ve undergone a major change to your website but you failed to update other aspects of your brand, it may be time for a refresh. A common mistake many businesses make is updating one part of their branding, and forgetting about consistency across the board. If your website is in the 21st century but your logo or tagline are lacking, consider updating so that all of your marketing materials, including your website, are consistent.

 

3. You’re Expanding

Sometimes what you originally planned changes course. Businesses can outgrow their branding as their core vision or mission changes. Sometimes taglines or logos are too narrow and encompass only one core offering or product. While this may be where your business started, consider going broader to encompass where your business is going. It’s important when setting the course for your branding that you leave enough room for growth.

 

4. It’s Been Years Since You’ve Refreshed Your Branding

If you’ve been around for years and can’t remember ever changing up your logo, colors or messaging, it may be time to evaluate your branding. If you aren’t sure where to start, seek an outside opinion from branding experts. Have somebody look at your website, latest marketing materials, logo and other messaging. This will help give your business an outsider’s opinion on whether or not it’s time for a change.

 

5. Marketing Responses Have Become Stagnant

Your current marketing can say a lot about whether or not it’s time for a rebrand or a refresh. Consider the responses to your most recent marketing campaigns and whether or not you’ve been effective. You can also poll your current customers to see how they feel about your branding. Ask what feelings your primary colors evoke. Ask if your tagline is easy to remember and helps drive your values or mission. The feedback you receive could be telling toward whether or not it’s time for an update.

 

Keep in mind that each brand is different, and while one business may need a brand refresh after a couple years, another is still going strong after the same number of years. Pay attention to the response you’re getting from your marketing materials and feedback from your website. If you haven’t touched your branding in ages, it’s definitely time for an evaluation. Consider a focus group or other means of testing your branding. And if all else fails and you aren’t sure where to start, don’t be afraid to seek out branding experts for some help!

 

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Monday, November 30, 2020

Five Ways to Prep Your Marketing for the Holidays

November 30, 2020
Five Ways to Prep Your Marketing for the Holidays

 


 

The turkey has been devoured and the pumpkins put away, but the holidays are far from over. Now is the perfect time to kick your marketing efforts into high gear. While we don’t want you working straight through the holidays, there are some ways that you can get ahead and still enjoy much needed time with loved ones. No matter what holidays you celebrate in December, now through the New Year is a huge time for marketers. Take advantage with these five tips to prep your marketing through the end of the year.

 

1. Go Mobile

Billions of people use social media on their cell phones. However, many small businesses are continuing to optimize their websites for desktop instead of mobile. It’s time to meet your customers where they are. Make sure your website and online shopping experience are optimized to meet your customers’ mobile needs. The easiest way to ensure you are offering an easy-to-use site on a cell phone is to get out your phone, pull up your site and try to buy a product or book a service. You may be pleasantly surprised that your website transitions to a mobile-friendly experience, or discover that your website could use some work. 

 

2. Be Social

Now is the time to go big on your social media platforms and try to engage your following. The best part about social media posts is that you can use a scheduling platform to ensure that your social media presence continues, all while you’re enjoying time with your family. To ensure that your posts are friendly and relatable, try reading your posts out loud. If it’s something you would say to a friend, you’re good to post away. Use your social media during this time to announce sales, give thanks for your customers and have some fun.

 

3. Schedule Promotions

Just because Black Friday has passed doesn’t mean promotions are done for the year. Consider holiday marketing deals that will drive your customer base to choose your business over your biggest competitors. While this could mean a big sale, it doesn’t always have to be a huge markdown. Consider what your customers will see as a value add to their purchase and go from there.

 

4. Master Your Call to Action

What is it exactly that you’re trying to get your audience to do? A strong call to action (CTA) will make or break the best of marketing campaigns. Your business should be clear, concise and to the point with your CTA so that there is no confusion about what you’re asking. One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is making a weak ask. For example, simply sending an email marketing piece that doesn’t ask your customers to take next steps like shopping on your website or booking a consultation is far less likely to be a success. 

 

5. Diversify Your Content

We’re all unique, which makes us special. Remember that not all customers will celebrate the same holidays as you or your business. Make sure that your business is inclusive and acknowledges the spirit of the season by extending your well wishes to all. 

 

While the holidays feel like they’re in full swing, there are still marketing tactics that your business can jump in on to get ahead of the December holiday marketing rush. Remember to meet your customers where they are, give enough incentive to buy from your business and to keep your communications relatable and direct. Most of all, make the most of this holiday season.

 

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Monday, November 9, 2020

Calls to Action that Drive Engagement

November 09, 2020
Calls to Action that Drive Engagement

 

You’ve probably heard some of the essentials to strengthening your web presence: updated website, strong social networking, email marketing, etc. You may already know how to ask potential customers to try your products or service. But, many small businesses often misunderstand what online calls to action are and how they can affect a marketing strategy.

Strong calls to action (CTA) contribute to the success of any institution. For a business, they can make the difference between heightened sales and diminished opportunities. Calls to action are exactly what they sound like—words or phrases that drive visitors to take a specific action on your site. In other words, they function as a stepping stone between website visitors just passing by and those who feel invested enough to try out the service.

You should include effective CTAs throughout your website, social media, email messages and especially on landing pages. When it comes to crafting useful and compelling calls to action, keep these helpful pointers in mind.

  • Use action words. There’s a reason we call it a call to action. When constructing a CTA button, use powerful, compelling verbs that will attract visitors and drive engagement.
  • Be concise. Keep it simple. State the necessities in as few words as possible.
  • Talk about services. While maintaining succinctness, make sure your visitors fully understand what the business does. For example, instead of using the CTA Buy now! on a landing page, try See our new product now!
  • Choose colors. Design plays a huge role in crafting a creative CTA. Use eye-catching, contrasting colors that catch visitors’ attention and draw them in. And understand how colors impact an audience’s conversion. For example, red creates a sense of urgency while blue evokes trust and security.
  • Go step-by-step. People love CTAs they can follow easily. When crafting your call to action, ask yourself: “If I had no idea what was going on, would I be able to follow this on this site?” If not, you may want to rethink your website design setup.
  • Think “I want to…” Imagine your call to action as an “I want to” button. Nobody wants to submit a form. But they may want to get a free sample!

By following these simple pointers, you can easily create calls to action that will generate customer leads. Now that you have some tips, get started with these 20 CTA examples.

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When it comes to a business’s online presence, carefully-crafted calls to action are vitally important. A CTA that draws visitors in and generates constructive leads will result in higher engagement and increased customer sales.

By following valuable pointers and utilizing these top 20 examples of CTAs, a business can develop effective calls to action and continue to grow their bottom line.

 

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Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Five Marketing Ideas Leading Up to Thanksgiving

November 03, 2020
Five Marketing Ideas Leading Up to Thanksgiving


 

 

Just as fast as October appeared, the time to put away the spooky decorations has come. While you still have time to prepare for the holidays, there is no need to wait until the turkey has been cut to get in on the holiday marketing madness. Think about it—if you can plan thoughtfully ahead, you’ll be enjoying your Thanksgiving meal in a beautiful food-coma-bliss. Check out these five ways to get the first crack on holiday marketing leading up to Thanksgiving. 

 

1. Give a Gift of Thanks

Show your customers how much they mean to you by sending them a small gift of gratitude. This could be as simple as a note or more elaborate like a box of goodies. It’s nice for your customers to be reminded of how much you care, and it will help keep your business top of mind as your customers go into their holiday shopping. Plus, it’s simply a nice gesture to let your valued customers know how much they mean to you. Make sure to include a heartfelt note of thanks!

 

2. Offer a Pre-Black Friday Sale

Why wait until Black Friday to compete for deals when you could host a sale early? Spread the word that you can’t wait any longer to give your appreciation for your loyal customers, or even new clients. Hosting a sale early means you have fewer businesses to compete with and more recognition before the holidays.

 

Remember, just because you host a sale before Black Friday doesn’t mean you can’t get in on the after-Thanksgiving sale too. The sky’s the limit. This will simply give your business a head start.

 

3. Send Out an Email Marketing Campaign

Small businesses need help this year now more than ever. Send out an email marketing campaign encouraging your customers to consider shopping local. Include a heartfelt note about your appreciation and thanks for their business. 

 

Most importantly, don’t forget a call to action. You could ask your customers to stop by to do business, shop online, schedule a service or consider a consultation. Whatever action you want your customers to take, make sure to include a bold button or colorful text in your email. Be clear in your message so that your customers know exactly what you’re asking.

 

4. Start a Social Media Campaign

‘Tis the season for sharing the love. Start a social media campaign by encouraging your followers to post their thanks or story using a hashtag you create. Your business could kick off the social media campaign by posting your own message and encouraging others to take part. Don’t forget to challenge others to participate by tagging them and asking that they mention your business. If you’re willing, consider giving out a prize to the person with the most likes or comments on their story. This is a great way to entice your followers to participate. 

 

5. Donate to a Local Cause

People want to do business with businesses that care. Take November as a time for your company to make a donation to a cause that is near and dear to your heart. Don’t be afraid to let your customers and potential customers know about the cause that’s special to your company. You may end up doing business with a customer who shares your love for that same cause.

 

Go ahead—pick your favorite marketing strategy (or strategies!) and get in on the marketing trends before the holiday season begins. Consider this your reminder to skip the procrastination. Whatever you do, make sure your customers know how much they mean to you. After all, 2020 has been a hard year on us all!

 

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Monday, October 26, 2020

Five Scary-Good Marketing Ideas for Halloween

October 26, 2020
Five Scary-Good Marketing Ideas for Halloween

 


Something spooky is in the air; can you feel it? We’re talking about hauntingly good marketing opportunities for your business. With Halloween upon us, you can look to take part in the fun. There’s nothing grim about it—your business can reap the benefits of a nicely planned marketing tactic tied to the holiday. Check out these five marketing ideas for your business that are so good... they’re scary-good! 

 

1. Post Some Scary-Good Photos 

Whether it be a spookified advertisement or photos of your team members dressing up, a picture is worth a thousand words. This can be a great opportunity to advertise your company culture to the world, which in turn helps attract talent. If your business is a truly fun place to work, this is your time to show it off and make other people wish they worked either for you or with you. 

 

2. Give a Scary-Good Deal

Who says you have to wait until Black Friday to give a great deal to your customers? Instead, get a jump start. Hosting a big sale or discount early will help your business stand out instead of directly competing with the masses in November. If potential customers see your deal early, they may not wait to grab what you’re offering from somebody else later. There’s nothing like a sense of urgency.

 

3. Create Scary-Good Branding

There’s no doubt that your branding is solid. But Halloween is all about the thrills and chills. Take your current branding and add something scary, like a ghost, skeleton, cobweb or other Halloween-inspired objects. Go darker with your branding colors. Remember that people want to buy from businesses that are relatable, so don’t be afraid to have some fun. 

 

4. Post Some Scary-Good Content

Halloween will be over and gone before you know it, but scary-good content will live on forever. To play on the theme of the day, consider penning a letter to your customers telling them something you’ve always been (or used to be) scared of, or sharing some personal ties to your business that you’ve never been able to put into words. While this sticks to the Halloween theme, it will also show off a more personable side to your business. 

 

5. Collaborate with a Scary-Good Business

The world of marketing is all about who’s on top. But it’s important to remember that you don’t always have to compete with businesses to get attention. Instead, consider a spooky collaboration. Your business could host a friendly costume competition with another local business, which would mean cross-promotion to the other business’s followers. You’ll likely get new attention to your business from people who had never heard of you before.

 

Get out there and frighten your potential customers with how much they’re going to love you. Use these scary-good ideas to have some fun, market your business and attract new talent. Don’t be scared… jump right in! 

 

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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Content Ideas for Your Next Business Blog Post

October 20, 2020
Content Ideas for Your Next Business Blog Post


 

Your business’s website is the perfect launching pad for enticing potential customers through the power of your own voice—with blogging. That’s because content marketing means establishing your business and your leaders as experts in your field. Sure, staring at a blank page is daunting when you don’t know what to write about. But luckily, we’ve got you covered. Check out these five content ideas for your next blog.

 

1. Share a Success Story

One customer’s success story sparks a world of ideas for your potential customers. When they see the wins you’ve already achieved for somebody, they start to picture what that could mean for your partnership with them. Think of some of your business’s top success stories and put them down on paper. Include tangible results that will easily resonate with your audience. Don’t forget to ask for permission to include quotes or names from your current customers championing their wins.

 

2. Talk About Products or Services

Sometimes you need more space than a product description page can give you. Use a blog post to go into more detail about the products and services your business offers. Or, maybe one of your products has a cool feature that you’ve never been able to talk about in-depth. Think about where you’d wished you had more room to elaborate in the past and get to writing.
 

3. Tell Your Origin Story

By now you probably know that many successful businesses were started in a garage: Apple, Disney and Amazon, to name a few. All of that goes to show that every business starts somewhere. What about your business? Use a blog post to detail why your business was started, where you came from and what your business stands for. This is an opportunity for you to create an emotional connection with your audience. This type of blog post will help to humanize your business. 

 

4. Address Frequently Asked Questions

There’s a reason they’re called “frequently” asked questions. Think about the questions your business receives time and time again. Then, use a blog post to develop thoughtful answers to those questions. Plus, this will make your job easier since customers will be able to find answers on their own. This helps drive truly qualified inquiries on the forms on your website, because hopefully your potential customers will have done some digging. 

 

5. Unveil New/Seasonal Offerings

‘Tis the season for a blog post around seasonal items. These last three months of the year always fly by, and with it comes the opportunity to promote seasonal offerings. Sure, you’ll want these new or seasonal product offerings up on your normal products or services page, but think of this blog post as an announcement to go more in-depth as to what you’re offering and the why behind it. 

 

Now it’s time to get out there and put the pen to paper… or more likely keyboard to blank document! Remember that consistency is key. As long as you’re writing from the heart and thinking from your potential customer’s point of view, you’ll have no problem with these five easy blogging ideas.

 

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